Coca-Cola Advertising and the Mask of Authenticity

Advertising identifies trends, raids culture and constructs desires (Lyth, p3). Through a semiotic qualitative textual analysis, this paper explores how Coca Cola advertisements, at three key junctures in history, have relied upon an authentic/commercial binary that has existed since the Romantic turn during the Enlightenment to promote the myth of a depth ontology and an authentic self in contrast to ‘shallow consumerism’(Banet-Weiser, 2012, Erving Goffman and the Performed Self 2015, Potter, 2010). In line with Stuart … Read More

The Democratising Potential of Celebrity and Cosmopolitan Solidarity

The role celebrities play in promoting cosmopolitan values over communitarian tribalism was highlighted in the recent presidential inauguration of Donald Trump which was shunned by many A-list celebrities. This was contrasted with the widespread support for anti-Trump rallies like Alec Baldwin’s. Trump’s communitarian, tribal and divisive America first campaign strategy which was an affront to outsiders didn’t vibe well with many celebrities cosmopolitan sensibilities. This othering of outsiders struck an empathetic chord with those celebrities whose … Read More

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You’re Fake Microcelebrity: Performing the Commodity of Authenticity

This is my undergraduate video and exegesis attempt at understanding celebrity culture and authenticity. Also, see the follow-up article The Democratising Potential of Celebrity and Cosmopolitan Solidarity My video (below) opens with scenes from the French dystopian short film Logorama (2009) which is a critique on “the loss of real authenticity” in a world which is dominated by self-branded, celebrity-styled individuals. Banet-Weiser (2012 p. 3) describes Logarama reflecting ‘a world where brands are everywhere, even culture … Read More

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Celebrity and Ideology in #Vanlife

The Wanderlust of #Vanlife (2015) examines the travelling and blogging movement established by Foster Huntington, who quit a Manhattan corporate job to travel full time in Volkswagen. Huntington says, “I felt like I was kind of pissing away my 20’s doing that” and changed to a more authentic way of making a living, documenting his travels on social media. The documentary examines the phenomenon of Huntington and others becoming social media blogging, and Instagram sensations with, … Read More

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